Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Doll Mei Tai

Children learn by modeling behavior of those around them. Babywearing is something we have done nearly everyday for the past two years and it is part of Little Miss E's routine with her babies as well. When she wants to mop the floors with me, she brings me a scarf and baby and says, "UP!" When her babies "fall down" (when she throws her babies), she picks them up and says, "baby wah wah, need milkie, UP!" We use scarves and do versions of front wrap cross carry, torso carries, and traditional sling carry with her babies. For Christmas I made her a doll mei tai.

Get creative! Little Miss E's is reversible with a forest animal-theme brown cotton flannel on one side and forest animal quilter's cotton on the other side. The ties are a sunshine yellow chevron quilter's cotton. I used two pieces of orange felt for the headrest.

A mei tai is a pretty simple doll carrier to piece together without much instruction but here are a few tutorials for inspiration:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Homemade Play Dough & Fruit Bars

Water, salt, flour, vegetable oil (we used avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil because that's what we had on hand), cream of tartar, and food coloring - that's all you need to make your own play dough!

This play dough supposedly lasts for 6 months! Pliable, non-sticky texture. Initially we made four colors with two batches but the batches are pretty big so you could divide it up even more. If you knead in the food coloring after making the dough instead of adding it to the salt water mixture like instructed in the recipe, you can make more individual colors. I started with a whole batch of apple green and then divided it in half and kneaded in more blue food coloring. Did the same process with the yellow to orange. Have fun!

We used this recipe:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Food coloring
  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup flour
Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm. Remove from heat and add flour. Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don't have it on hand. Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.


Latest snack recipe: One Lovely Life's Apricot Cherry Snack Bars. Note, because I was missing the majority of the ingredients, I ended up with "Cranberry Raisin Sunflower Seed Snack Bars." They were delicious. Great recipe for someone looking for a vegan, gluten-free, no-added-sugars, and nut-free recipe (or just a delicious homemade snack!). 

Ingredients I used:
  • ⅔ cup dates, pits removed
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
  • ⅔ cup raisins, unsweetened
  • 1 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds 
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  1. Place everything in a food processor. Pulse or blend until the mixture comes together (I advise you to pulse because I pulsed then blended and overheated my food processor resulting in me dumping out the coarse mixture and eating it by the spoonfuls while waiting for my food processor to work again). This will probably take a few minutes--the mixture might look sandy or dry at first, but keep going. It will all eventually lump together (It really does! Just when you think, "this totally didn't work for me" it will lump together, really).
  2. Use your hands to pat the mixture out on one side of a large sheet of parchment paper. Fold the paper over on top of the mixture and roll flat until desired thickness. 
  3. Store covered in the refrigerator and slice into as many bars as desired (I ended up with 30ish irregular shaped pieces surrounding little squares due to rolling it out to 1/4 inch).